Getting the Spark Back in Your Genealogy

by Amy Johnson Crow

Posted on February 27, 2013

Winter months are long and, for those in the north, grey. There are days when you want to pretend you're a bear and hibernate until spring. Winter can affect how you look at things - even your genealogy! If you're feeling lethargic about your family history, here are five tips to get you going again.

1. Pick a Different Family

You can get into a rut when you're looking for the same people all the time. Change things up by researching a different family for a while. Been concentrating on Dad's line? Look at Mom's. For those who like a challenge, start researching a brand new family! Help out that co-worker who is interested, but doesn't quite know where to start.

2. Do a Project

Look at your family history in a whole new way - literally! Take things that you've found and create a craft project around it. Take copies of family photos and create a collage. (If you don't have copies, start scanning the originals you have!) Expert Series author Stephanie Pitcher Fishman has some great suggestions for projects you can do.

3. Read Some History

Was Great-Great-Grandpa in the Civil War? Find a history about his regiment or the battles he participated in. Reading about history is a great way to feel more connected to your ancestors.

4. Write It Down

Pick an ancestor and write down what you know about them. It can take any form: a list, a short biography, or even a poem. The key is to get you thinking about what you've already learned (plus have a way you can share it with others). Need some ideas for how to get started? Expert Series authors Harold Henderson and Lisa Alzo have lots of suggestions.

5. Learn More About Genealogy

Learning about a set of records that's new to you or one that you haven't explored deeply is a great way to get ideas on where to look next and can really get your research going again! Besides this blog and the Expert Series, check out our new online presentations, held every Wednesday at 1:00pm ET/10:00am PT.

We hope these ideas help you shake off winter's doldrums!

"O Wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?" - Percy Bysshe Shelley

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